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Rental Safety Standards to Minimize Risk

Mountain Green Tenant Climbing Dangerously Icy Steps in WinterAs a Mountain Green rental property owner, guaranteeing that your property meets appropriate rental safety standards is a significant responsibility. While a few standards may change from state to state or even city to city, there are some standards that all rental property owners should adhere to. According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, housing codes are intended to set a minimum standard for landlords and tenants. As opposed to beinga nuisance, these standards can be a helpful guide as you prepare your rental home for quality tenants. By bringing your property up to par on the following six things, you can protect your tenants and your property values – as well as your bank account.

Stairs and Railings

Slips and falls are a common concern and can undoubtedly cause your tenant and their visitors’ significant physical injury. Minimize risk by keeping all the stairs and railings on the property in good condition. Replace and refinish wooden stairs consistently, and remember to clear concrete stairs of debris, ice, and other hazards. It’s additionally a smart thought to paint stairs with a non-slip coating to shield them from becoming slippery in wet weather. Railings must be at least 42 inches high and should not move or wobble easily. Be certain to replace missing railings and tighten loose fasteners as quickly as you notice a problem.

Smoke Detectors

In many states, landlords are required by law to have functional smoke detectors in their rental property. But even if it wasn’t needed, it’s an important safety measure that all landlords should observe. Check your smoke alarms every year and replace weak or dead batteries immediately. It’s also necessary to check if your state requires carbon monoxide detectors in addition to smoke detectors – some do. Both types of sensors can help you keep your tenants safe in the event of an emergency.

Doors and Locks

Security is another one of those basic rental safety standards that all landlords should meet. At a minimum, your tenant should be well-fitting, good-quality exterior doors complete with both a locking lockset and a deadbolt in each one. The locks should be changed between tenants, and your tenant supplied with a set of the new keys. If your rental is in a region with high crime rates, you may even consider adding a security system also. Even if you don’t, you can help enhance your tenant’s safety and discourage would-be burglars with quality doors and locks.

GFI Outlets

Ground Fault Interrupting outlets (GFIs) have been required since 1971. But if your Mountain Green rental house is older than that, you may have to upgrade your electrical outlets. GFIs are essential because they help prevent electric shocks and fires. When accurately wired, these outlets contain a circuit that will trip in the event of an electrical surge or a ground fault. Most of the time, electrical outlets close to a water source, more often placed in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and the exterior, need to be GFI outlets.

Lead Paint

Another main issue with older rental homes is the presence of lead-based paint. Before 1978, several residences used this type of paint for interior elements. Paint on wooden window sills, railings, and even walls can flake off, spreading toxic metals across the house. Lead is particularly dangerous to young children and pets. In order to see whether your rental has lead-based paint or not, test it. If you catch lead in your rental property, contact a professional experienced in lead paint removal. You must also disclose the presence of lead paint to your renters.

Pest Infestations

Another important rental safety standard you should pay attention to is the presence of pests. From mice and rats to insects, pests of any kind are both a nuisance and a disease carrier. Your responsibility is to guarantee that your rental home is free of pests before leasing it. But if the pests return, irrespective of whether your tenants are or are not keeping the property clean, it is still your responsibility to get rid of the pests. One way to keep your property pest-free is to have a contract with a local pest control company to service your property on a schedule.

By making your property reach these basic safety standards, you significantly reduce your risk of expensive lawsuits and more difficulties. Yet, keeping a property up to code can require both time and effort. If you would choose to spend your time pursuing other interests, try hiring Real Property Management Northern Utah to handle the property maintenance for you. Our Mountain Green property managers are competent in rental safety standards and understand what to do to protect both your tenants and your property value. Contact us online or call us at 801-546-1770.

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